vRA tidbit – AWS provisioning and the key pair conundrum

choice

One of the main advantages of vRealize automation in the Cloud management space is that it provides customers with choices, this is true in many aspects of the solution like where to consume services from, how to deploy them, how the forms will look etc but in this post I want to talk about the creation of AWS key pairs.

There are many solutions out there that provide an interface for provisioning instances to AWS,  some have more capabilities than others and without getting into a full feature by feature comparison I will just say that vRA is one of the more comprehensive solutions out there with many capabilities that are required for cloud management such as self-service portal, multi cloud/vendor provisioning, automation and orchestration capabilities and much more.

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Quick and easy vRA ASD demo – send email

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Let’s say you want to test vRealize Automation Advanced Service Designer which allows you to create custom services that are based on Orchestrator, sending an email from the vRA catalog is a quick and easy solution to try it out.

The following steps will guide you to create a service that sends an email using the mail notification workflow in the embedded vRO.

Obviously you need to have a fully configured vRA environment including vRO (formerly vCO) , to demonstrate the email being sent and received I used FakeSMTP , which is a small Java application that acts as a mail server and displays incoming emails, pretty neat solution for demos check it out.

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How to configure vRO (vCO) AD permissions on workflows

VCO AD Perm 1

This is a small “How to” that I was thinking might be useful to some folks having the same requirement as I did today.

before I begin you will see in this post me referring to vRA and vRO as vCAC and vCO as well. This is because the products names changed but not the UI’s so bare with me.

What I was required by the customer here is to setup  access rights on workflows for users from active directory.

In vRO version 5.5.2 that I am working with (embedded in vRA 6.1.1) there are 3 places where there are AD configuration settings.

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VMware Acquires Continuent what does this mean?

Continuent architecture

Today, VMware announced the purchase of Continuent , a software company that delivers replication , high availability and disaster recovery capabilities to databases. According to the following VMware blog this software will be utilized first in VMware’s Hybrid cloud platform “vCloud Air”  to deliver DBaaS capabilities to it’s customers.

The Continuent software has some very impressive features, by abstracting the database from the application using it’s Continuent Tungsten connector, Continuent can replicate the data between two disperse databases and fail over the database with out disruption to the application.

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vCAC 6.1 Application Services (AppD) Installation notes

vCAC AppD 6.1 Installation Screenshots - Sample Content
vCAC AppD 6.1 Installation Screenshots - Sample Content

Recently i installed the new vCAC 6.1 in my lab, vCAC 6.1 has many improvements, if you’d like to learn more about the improvements you can read Omer Kushmaro’s (Twitter @elastic_Skies)  excellent blog post  or just read the VMware blog post here.  During my installation i found that the deployment process for the Application services component of vCAC (AKA Application Director) has changed, it is more integrated with vCAC now and there are a few things you need to know when setting it up so it will work well for you. here is a short guide:

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How EMC IT are delivering DBaaS and ITaaS with VMware vCloud suit

EMC DBaaS1

EMC IT has released a few amazing resources that explain how they achieved a full ITaaS and DBaaS for their users, it is a must read and watch for anyone interested in ITaaS and DBaaS.

Whitepaper:

EMC IT’s Database-as-a-Service

Video

EMC IT’s  IT-as-a-Service/Database-as-a-Service – eCALM Demo

The eCALM system as they call (Enterprise Cloud Automation Life cycle Management) it is a “full” solution that allows deployment, configuration, day2 operations , backup as a service, security management, monitoring management and retirement of DBs.   This solution is based on the vCloud suit components + puppet on top of vBlock  with Symetrix and additional components like Data Domain, infoblocks, Log insight and more.

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New DBaaS capabilities in VMware vCAC 6.1

One of the main things customer need in regards to cloud automation is DBaaS. In vCAC6.1 VMware has added the capability to ingest a production database into a VM and allow it to be redeployed as a service on demand by the developer/DBA without the intervention of IT. The use cases are endless,  customers want ot have the ability to “refresh” a production database for test, Dev, QA and training purposes.

So, how does this work:

In vCAC 6.1 VMware added out of box vCO workflows that can deliver a copy of the production DBs (currently Oracle 12c and Microsoft SQL Server 2012) to the self service catalog for redeployment, the workflows executes the following steps:

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A few tips for the VCDX defense

Tips for the defense from existing VCDXs  were one of the things that helped me the most preparing for mine.

one thing to note before we start is that each VCDX has it’s own experience and opinion about what’s right and sometimes VCDX A would say one thing and VCDX B would say the opposite, but that is just the nature of things as no one knows what is the  rubric used to score  a VCDX candidate and that includes me.

Take from this post what you think makes sense to you and i suggest you do the same from anything else you read or hear, except for  Rene van der Bedem’s blog AKA @VCDX133 http://vcdx133.com , it is awesome.

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VMworld 2014 pre-conference post

Yes, this is this time of the year! No I am not talking about kids going to camp, or fall coming upon us. I mean the best conference of the year, VMworld. This is my 9th or 10th time, I lost count. Working now at VMware I know most of the announcements coming and I can tell you right now, this is going to be an awesome conference! By saying awesome I mean many people are going to be awe’d from what VMware has lined up.

So this is just the preconf post, I can’t detail more but stay tuned bcause I’ll have much to say after the conference begins. And most of all if you are attending have fun, network with peers, learn and discover. With  no limits!!!

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Important to not burn out while preparing for the VCDX defense

I felt it a lot, the guilt of not working hard enough on my presentation before the defense, especially after submission of the application while waiting for the results to come in. It took a few weeks to know if we are going to defend our crazy design and during that time i’ve probably put 2% effort in average of the amount of effort I put when we worked on the design.

If you are in that stage you probably read many blogs about VCDX journey by now, many are saying to start working on the presentation a minute after you submitted the application and not to wait for the results.

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